Katie’s Karate Class (English)

Rated 4.65 out of 5 based on 52 customer ratings
(53 customer reviews)


Join Katie on her first day at karate!

On the way to her first karate class, Katie feels self-conscious about starting something new and meeting new people. Can her brother help her overcome her fears?

This story was inspired by Yoga Sutra 2.33 that says, “When negative feelings restrict us, the opposite should be cultivated.”


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53 reviews for Katie’s Karate Class (English)

  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    I will use this book in my elementary Health classes to supplement my lessons on feelings( scared, worried). A great way to demonstrate how to calm down and overcome your ears.

  2. Rated 3 out of 5


    I am both a children’s yoga teacher and a mom of a young child. I love using stories in yoga classes as a way of sequencing classes for younger children. As a mom, I enjoyed reading this book with my daughter. It teaches about anxiety and overcoming fear, and there are a few places where you can get up and move around. Unfortunately, it was less useful in my yoga class because there were so few actual poses in the book. There are multiple pages that tell a great story but do not include associated poses or movements. Because I only have 30 minutes with my yoga class of about 14 5-8 year-olds, sitting and listening to a story was much less enjoyable for them than moving while listening to (and being) the story. If you have a longer class period and are open to having more reading time, then it could work.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Lindsay M.

    I love that this story, with beautifully done, colorful illustrations brings to light the feelings that children can have when approaching something new. I also like that it is such a universal fear that makes the text highly relatable. As a teacher of language learners, I feel that this text could help my students see that all children encounter fear about new things, such as they may have fear about being in a new place, learning a new language. I find it interesting that the yoga poses weren’t specifically laid out as much as in the other, also beautifully done, Yoga Stories but I also like that teachers and children can feel the freedom to move with their thoughts and really focus on how the story feels as they make connections.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Yolandie, South Africa

    Thank you for the privilege to review Katie’s karate class. It was embraced by my 5 and 6 year olds and we talked about the reality of fear in our everyday lives. It opened-up the opportunity to discuss and look at other options to handle and deal with everyday fear. My class also related very well to the strong and grounding poses.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5


    I really enjoyed reading this book. The illustrations are very expressive; the text is simple and very relatable. It demonstrates how a child can learn to resource oneself when he/she is uncertain about something new and have some anxiety. This book also illustrates how one can be a very compassionate, empathetic and caring brother, sister or a friend.

  6. Rated 4 out of 5

    Shelley Dean

    I found this to be a nice book for my elementary age students. It brought about wonderful conversation and they were eager to share their experiences. It was not so much of a physical yoga experience…which I do prefer in a yoga class.

  7. Rated 4 out of 5


    What a lovely story to share with children that struggle with fear and anxiety. My daughter has been going through this exact scenario with starting karate and the anxiety of new people, new activity and new feelings. Fear can be crippling to a young child and helping them understand and overcome it is a wonderful tool that they will come back to many times as they grow up. The language is clear and simple enough for a young, early reader to read on her own but also great to sit and read together. My daughter was so excited that something she was experiencing was written in a book!

  8. Rated 3 out of 5

    Joanne Cardamone

    This is an incredible story that we wished we had a while ago. My daughter could relate to this as she does yoga and taekwondo. The story is about a little girl who has fears about her first karate lesson. It’s about overcoming fears by relating things that you will do with things that you already know how to do. I love that it’s the caring girl’s brother who shows her this.

    My daughter loved reading this and it made her realise how many things she does at taekwondo that are similar to yoga. She also loved comparing and doing both yoga and taekwondo poses too with this book. it was awesome to read to her class as it taught them all about yoga and how they can overcome their fears of something new. It’s a really great book to have a discussion.

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Claire Bednall

    This is a fantastic book for not only teaching kids yoga poses but also how to overcoming fears that we all experience when trying something new. It relates it to different sports and activities and shows that yoga is not only good for the body but the mind too. I will definitely use this story with my kids at home as well as in my yoga classes

  10. Rated 4 out of 5


    I love the sibling relationship filled with kindness, compassion and encouragement as well as the comparison of yoga to karate and other sports. I also enjoyed how Katie utilized what her brother taught her to calm herself and make a new friend.

  11. Rated 3 out of 5


    A story that offers a practical solution to support the nerves and apprehension some children have when approaching something new. The story is about an older brother who offers some wise words to his younger sister who is nervous about her new karate class. The advice is given is then related to other sports at the end. Unlike Giselle’s other yoga stories this has a slightly different format, with more story than asana flow. But what is clever about this approach, is it opens the mind of the reader to take a creative stance when thinking of what a particular asana can represent, something that appeals to children as they can then come up with their own! I would suggest this is would capture the attention more of older children rather than the group I work with (I work with 3-5 year olds). As a teaching tool it could lead into children coming up with their own asana comparisons which supports them in taking ownership of their practice can could potentially lead into creating their own vinyasa. For embracing fear I thought initially it would be an introduction to meditation for young readers. Personally I prefer Giselle’s other yoga stories.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5


    Once again, Giselle has hit it out of the park! “Katie’s Karate Class” is magnificent!

    Giselle does such a fantastic job at bringing the reader into the story. When Katie placed one hand on her heart, the other on her belly, and took a deep breath in, I instinctively did that as well. As though I was right there in that karate class!

    “Katie’s Karate Class” teaches kids about perseverance and positive thinking, as well as encouragement and creativity. The illustrations are vibrant and engaging, really drawing you into the story.

    There is everything to love about this book! As a yoga instructor and avid reader, I love that this book incorporates physical (yoga) and cognitive (reading & understanding) movement. All of Giselle’s books are fantastic in that they are provide a multi-sensory learning environment for kids – combining visual, oral, and listening skills with physical movement and controlled breathing.

    One of the things I loved the most about “Katie’s Karate Class” is that it helps kids to recognize fear by describing how fear feels. Sometimes we forget that children need to be taught about feelings, what they mean, and how they feel. Describing how fear feels is a crucial step in helping kids recognize their feelings so that they can better understand and manage their emotions.

    Finally, this book helps kids to build on themselves and their passions by showing them that they can use something they already love to help them learn something new!

    There is nothing bad to be said about “Katie’s Karate Class”. If you don’t own this book, run out and get it now!

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Martin Virginillo

    I found this book incredible and it appears to me in a perfect time, mainly because me and my family, we live close to the last Mexico´s earthquake epicenter. My kids and my yoga students (from 3 to 10 years old) are still very afraid and this book has helped me al lot this past week. “When you have negative thoughts, you should try to thinks the opposite”. This sentence just gave me the right words to work with my kids and students during their classes and to help them express their emotions and try to heal a little bit after this strong event.
    At the same time because I´m also a martial arts teacher and I use a lot this in my yoga classes, it gave me more ideas and poses that can be easily used in a yoga class that main theme is martial arts or simply a voyage to Japan or China.
    Resuming, Teachers and parents can use this book to encourage children, boys and girls, to overcome their fears and simply try something new. The text is simple, which is very useful when you are reading stories to kids from 4 to 7 years old, but can be easily expanded. The illustrations are clear and gentle and the poses are fun and you can also add some martial arts shouts to make it more fun.

  14. Rated 4 out of 5

    Breezy Ocaña Flaquer

    This was a very nice book. I absolutely loved the relationship between Katie and her big brother. Also, the comparison of Yoga with Karate was a good one too. Both are practices that really respect the body and the self. I am not sure i would call it a Yoga Story just because it compares Yoga to Karate, or just because Katie loves Yoga, I feel this more of a problem solving story. In this book they kids are presented with a possible solution to overcome the fear of something new. I would have like to see some breathing techniques for the kids to feel calm about something that troubles them, and this is why i did not give the 5 stars. But as an overall, i really liked the story and i think it has a great message for the kids.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Erin O’Neill

    I read this story to a couple of my Kindergarten classes. At first, I wasn’t sure if they would enjoy it, but they LOVED it! It appeals to both girls and boys, being about Karate. This is a very interactive book and being able to read a story to a large class of children is ideal in the digital form as I have a SmartBoard in my classroom! This book allows for discussions about how children do feel apprehensive about new things; many children could relate to Katie, and one even said she gets “nervous”. Many children could relate to going to Karate, and the other sports later mentioned in the book. As I read the story, I had the children do the yoga poses and they enjoyed telling me the names of the poses before I said them! Afterwards, we discussed what we learned from the book and how we can do what Katie learned to overcome fear. Most kids experience fear and this book explains to them that it is normal and that there are tools to help them. Great message for all ages!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Keisha Forbes

    Beautiful book! Positive sibling relationship, coping strategies for fear, and validation of children’s feelings. You just can’t go wrong.

  17. Rated 4 out of 5

    Melanie Lane

    I read this book last night to my 2 yr old. While I was reading his big brother came in and sat to listen. He’s 12. We all enjoyed the book. I thought it had a great message. I also loved that it was a big brother and little sister. If you have a little one getting ready to start something new or just looking for a new book. This is a good one to add to your library

  18. Sarah Henderson

    This may be my favorite of Giselle’s books yet! As a mom of a Tae Kwon Do & yoga loving daughter, I can see this book being super helpful. I love the way it incorporates mindfulness practices and shows the similarities between yoga and other physical activities. It will be easy for many kids to find themselves in this book. I also love how this story encourages compassion for others. Katie receives compassion from her brother, then shares it with her new friends. This would be great for parents, teachers, camp counselors, and of course, martial arts and kids yoga teachers!

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Karen W.

    I read Katie’s karate class with my daughter age 5. She loved the fact it was a girl as the main character in the story! I loved the idea of replacing bad feelings with good ones by thinking about things that make us happy and my daughter commented that that is what I do when she has a bad dream. We loved the illustrations too. My daughter gave it a big thumbs up!

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tara G.

    I really like this new book for teaching kids to face their fears. Although this book doesn’t have as many yoga opportunities as some of Giselle ‘s other stories, it makes comparisons between yoga and other sports and activities. This would be a great way to introduce reluctant kids to yoga.

  21. Rated 4 out of 5

    Jodi Barasky

    Another great book from Giselle! As a Physical Education teacher, I love books that teach a lesson through yoga. Thanks for a wonderful addition to my library.

  22. Rated 4 out of 5

    Jackie Parass

    Love the story about fear and how to face it with self-confidence. Beautiful illustrated !!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Geoff Sittler

    I thought this book does a great job of providing a strategy for kids to use when they are faced with new or frightening situations. The strategy of remembering past successes and using those thoughts to focus on success in the future was communicated in an easy-to-understand approach for kids to understand. The writing and illustrations were engaging and did a great job of encouraging the reader to see what happens next. I’m looking forward to sharing this book with my own kids and the students I work with at an alternative school for children with challenges with emotional processing and socialization.

  24. Rated 5 out of 5


    This little book is so delightful on so many levels! Katie has a warm and loving relationship with her big brother, who nurtures her and understands her feelings. Katie can relate your yoga practice to so many other sports that children enjoy, strengthening the bond between the character and the reader. Katie teaches the reader that it’s ok to be afraid, and there are ways to help yourself. A positive story with pleasant illustrations and a gentle message — this is a keeper!

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Harriette Bayse

    This is a sweet story that encourages empathy and overcoming fear. I really like the fact that the author shows how happiness is, and choosing one’s thoughts is, a CHOICE! Way to go, Giselle. Can’t wait to use this one in class with my kids!

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Livia Lauro

    This new book by Ms. Shardlow is wonderful! It is easy to comprehend the message yet it is relatable for older children as well! I love how it shows the similarities between yoga and karate. The wonderful message about taking time to calm down when you are scared comes across very clearly. I can’t wait to use it in my PE class as well as with my own children at home!

  27. Rated 5 out of 5


    Katie’s Karate Class is a delightful book focusing on feelings and emotions and how to deal with them. It has been written in an easy to follow format. I like the way that movements in other sports have been compared to yoga postures, which then helps Katie feel more confident in attending her first karate class.
    It is a perfect way to encourage children to notice and recognise physical feelings and how they are connected to their thoughts.
    The book is beautifully illustrated by Valerie which complements the simple, gentle narrative written by Giselle.
    Thank you for another delightful book from Kids Yoga Stories 🙂

  28. Rated 5 out of 5


    I thought this was a very easy read for young children. As a Prek teacher I am always looking for books that are quick reads, (attention span), but also have meaning and are teaching a lesson. This book did both. I am always trying to incorporate some yoga/relaxation into our day. This story is helpful as it gives pictures and relates to things they know. I really love the story and that it talks about fear and how to overcome. I highly recommend this book!

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    Barb T.

    Good story regarding an issue everyone has experienced at one time or another- fear of the unknown. The story provides a good technique to handle fear by taking a known,enjoyable experience and transferring the feelings to a novel situation. Good illustrations as well.

  30. Rated 4 out of 5

    Erica B.

    I’m a children’s yoga instructor and always looking for yoga related books. This is my first time reading a book by this author. I love the way she ties in yoga poses via the illustrations. She also did a nice job of including meditation and pranayama. It’s a great book to show children how they can apply the skills they have to face new challenges.

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jamie Lyons

    I really enjoyed Giselle’s newest book, Katie’s Karate Class. I thought the way Giselle tied in the yoga poses with Karate was very creative. I believe lots of children, and adults will be able to relate to this book about conquering your fears. Giselle was able to incorporate mindful breathing to help relax the brain and body as well as the ability to instil courage in ones abilities. I loved the empathy that was shown between Katie and her brother.
    This book will be a wonderful addition to everyones children’s yoga library.

  32. Rated 4 out of 5

    Marcela Arellano Palacios

    Review of a lovely book

    Its a very good idea to Link yoga to other sports, in that way you can spread the yoga way to Many other topics, as it really happens!!Beautiful illustrations and a dialogue and concerns very realistic.I recomend this lovely book

  33. Rated 4 out of 5


    This book using a positive supportive sibling relationship and comparison to help Katie use her yoga knowledge to build up the courage to attend karate class and then the world was at her fingertips! She also became more aware of how others’ may feel and potentially could be a good student advocate as her brother was.
    This would be a better book for students older than most of my young readers (preschool- grade 3) for as there aren’t any color- coded words or yoga poses in a circle to look for as you go along and there is a lot of reading first and then the yoga.
    I can see students adding paragraphs comparing how yoga can help them face their fear whether in another activity or sport or in their life. Unfortunately, more and more children face various fears.
    I think this book will endear more boys to yoga as it compares it to many sports.
    As usual, it has beautiful peaceful illustrations and is one that children would enjoy reading and doing repeatedly!

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wilna Dirkse van Schalkwyk

    I love the idea of combining a valuable life-lesson story with yoga poses. Standing poses are excellent for improving self-confidence and these are included in the poses in this book. The story material cleverly compares karate and yoga poses with other sports, helping to broaden children’s awareness of other activities too. As with all Giselle’s books the illustrations are beautiful too. As teacher and mother I will definitely use and recommend this book!

  35. Rated 5 out of 5


    A wonderful book and an absolute joy to read. It touches upon the feelings of insecurity/fear most kids can relate to especially in a new setting/activity. This book shows the kids the coping mechanisms they can use to handle such situations. Reminds them that they are not alone; we are all in the same boat and how many things are different yet similar. Here is a great book to build confidence too and not just for kids

  36. Rated 5 out of 5


    While this book is a little different from some of Giselle’s other stories in that there aren’t yoga poses to practice on each page, it is certainly a great message, focussing on other important components of yoga. This book will be a valuable aid to parents and teachers but most of all kiddos who get butterflies in their stomachs when facing new situations. It gives a concrete plan that kids can take with them and put into practice.

  37. Rated 5 out of 5

    Caroline Saxon

    This is a beautiful little book with such a simple story written in such a way that any young child can relate to. It deals with a subject that is often hard for both children and parents to deal with but it does so in a way that is easy to understand and remember. This would be a great book to use as a starting point to build a whole kid’s yoga session around and I would definitely recommend it.

  38. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sara Meloni

    I was blessed with the opportunity of coming across this book and I can’t wait for the new semester to start so that I can share it with my kindergarten students. I teach English as a foreign language in Thailand and this book is written in a very simple language. At the same time it speaks to the heart while inviting kids to be present and conscious with their feelings. Amazing tool.

  39. Rated 5 out of 5


    I am a big fan of Giselle Shardlow’s books and this is by far my favorite! I absolutely love the combination of yoga and mindfulness techniques. The situation that Katie experiences is very relatable and the techniques discussed can be widely applied. The one downside to this story is that there don’t appear to be any people of color in the story – main characters or people in the background. I would love to see more people of color in future stories!

  40. Rated 5 out of 5


    An age-appropriate story for young children to read and discuss how starting new activities is often scary and can leave us feeling anxious. Readers can practice yoga moves throughout the book as well as be encouraged to discuss their feelings, and strategies to overcome their fears. I would highly recommend this book to parents, teachers, yoga instructors for children, and therapists. A great way to discuss healthy habits for a positive mindset, especially through times of new beginnings.

  41. Rated 5 out of 5


    Love the story here – brother and sister helping each other with a story that most children go through. Comparing yoga to other sports is also a great way to incorporate more yoga into our children’s lives!

  42. Rated 4 out of 5

    Donna Babuskow

    A story about facing new activities and your anxieties. A young girl gets nervous as she nears her first karate class. Her brother guides her to think about it as another version of her yoga class. By using the similarities between the two activities, she is able to build excitement for the new class to replace her anxiety.

  43. Rated 5 out of 5


    As a parent, educator, and children’s yoga teacher, there are so many reasons why I loved this book! Children often have difficulty expressing their emotions and the author made it very easy for children of all ages to relate to what the main character was experiencing. Additionally, there were so many opportunities to practice mindfulness in an authentic manner. Also, the examples of children being kind to each other provided excellent models of how to treat each other. I didn’t even mention the multitude of opportunities to practice yoga!!! A wonderful teaching tool!

  44. Rated 5 out of 5

    Maggie Barta

    A beautiful book for children about understanding “butterflies” in our tummies and how connecting other activities in which we are comfortable can help make new things less scary. As a kids yoga teacher, a mother of two, and as someone who struggled with “tummy-aches” as a child, I though this book was so perfect and universal for all ages. I loved how the main character, Katie, talked about her feelings, used belly breathing to calm herself down, and how empowered she felt at the end of the story. I highly recommend this book!

  45. Rated 4 out of 5


    This is a wonderful resource to help children understand, identify and cope with a strong emotion: fear. It helps children build awareness of their emotions and the physical sensations they create. It gives children different skills and resources they can use to overcome their fears. It’s a lovely story between brother and sister and what they can teach and learn from each other. Really enjoyed this book.

  46. Rated 5 out of 5

    Deb Froehlich

    I love this book about embracing fear. As a school speech language pathologist, I can see myself using this book with my students who are timid and fearful about communicating. The concept of thinking about the opposite of a negative thought is a really useful strategy and also teaches the concept of compare /contrast. My favorite part is the idea of comparing something that we love to help learn something new. The support given by Katie’s brother is comforting, kind and shows respectfulness to the needs of others. A great book!

  47. Rated 5 out of 5


    What a great book that ties in yoga-other sports-being mindful-trying even though you are scared!!! I shared this book with my elementary classes (a kindergarten class and a 1st grade class). They both enjoyed it. Students were able to relate to Katie trying something new (and being a little afraid): starting a new school, playing on a new team, trying a new dance class, etc. As a school counselor, I enjoyed the parts that shared being present to conquer overwhelming feelings, hands on heart and belly to slow down, the YOGA poses, telling how to feel to a friend, and trying even though you are afraid. THUMBS UP! Highly recommended book!!!

  48. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nikki Kratzer

    I really like this story. I do wish it included a few poses, ide, but that is just me. What is included and the flow of the story is excellent. It is a great book in encouraging a nervous or timid child!! Looove it!!

  49. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kathy N.

    This book is perfect in so many ways! I am a speech language pathologist and a yoga instructor. From an SLP’s perspective, I love how the book addresses the feeling of fear by explaining what fear feels like. So many children, and adults, let fear get in their way of trying new things, and this book helps them develop the confidence they need to pursue anything they desire. The book is a nice, easy read for all levels. From a yoga instructor’s perspective, I love the way she associates yoga with other sports (karate, soccer, gymnastics). The sequence and visuals are simple and amazing! This book is one I will use again and again with my little ones.

  50. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nik H.

    I taught this book to a group of six to ten-year-olds. I discussed prior to reading the book any fears they had. A lot of them said school, swimming, and PE. One said yoga (it was her first time). I read the story and then discussed how the little girl overcame her fear. We did some yoga poses for the things they feared and shared them. Then we made some positive affirmation cards. We meditated with a leaf to consider what we can change with autumn being a time to change. I loved this book as it is a great way to get children to talk about their fears and realise that they have similar fears. It is beautifully written.

  51. Rated 5 out of 5

    Melanie Q.

    Absolutely love this book. A great way to teach kids how to cope with fear and the little butterflies in their stomach when feeling nervous. I love how you can relate to any activity that children are involved in: soccer, gymnastics, etc. Will definitely be using this story in my future classes.

  52. Rated 5 out of 5


    This is a nice little story about how brave we can be if we do not think about fear. It teaches children to understand and overcome difficulties.

  53. Rated 5 out of 5


    I had the opportunity to review this latest kids yoga book from Giselle, and really enjoyed it. As a school counselor, I can see myself using this with Kindergarten and 1st graders to discuss fear and also get some wiggles out at the end of a guidance lesson! There are many karate, and other sports-themed yoga poses that you can do while reading this book to your child/class.

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Valerie Bouthyette

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